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Julian Assange gestures to the media from a police car on April 11, 2019 in London. Photo: Jack Taylor/Getty Images

U.S. District Judge John Koeltl has dismissed the Democratic National Committee's lawsuit against the Russian government, WikiLeaks and the Trump campaign.

The big picture: Tuesday's dismissal means the DNC can't bring another action on this same claim. Koeltl writes that "the primary wrongdoer in this alleged criminal enterprise is undoubtably the Russian Federation," which "cannot be sued in the courts of the United States for governmental actions ... just as the United States government generally cannot be sued in courts abroad for its actions."

  • The judge also notes that the "second-level participants" in the alleged activity — which include the Trump campaign, WikiLeaks, Julian Assange, Roger Stone and others — cannot be held liable for disseminating hacked emails because they are shielded by the same First Amendment protections that apply to the media.
  • Koeltl also rejected the Trump campaign's attempt to sanction the DNC and did not consider special counsel Robert Mueller's report in his ruling, per Courthouse News.

Read the filing:

Go deeper: DNC sues Trump, WikiLeaks and Russia over 2016 election

Editor's note: This story has been updated to show that Koeltl rejected the Trump campaign's attempt to sanction the DNC and did not refer to the Mueller report in his ruling.

Go deeper

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
22 mins ago - Podcasts

Bill Browder on Russia-U.S. relations after Alexei Navalny's arrest

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny was recently arrested in Moscow, just months after being poisoned in an assassination attempt, in what could become Joe Biden’s first major foreign policy test.

Axios Re:Cap speaks with Bill Browder, an investor and author who has his own history of clashing with Putin, to better understand the Navalny situation and how the U.S. might respond by using a law that Browder helped create.

3 hours ago - World

Special report: Trump's U.S.-China transformation

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

President Trump began his term by launching the trade war with China he had promised on the campaign trail. By mid-2020, however, Trump was no longer the public face of China policy-making as he became increasingly consumed with domestic troubles, giving his top aides carte blanche to pursue a cascade of tough-on-China policies.

Why it matters: Trump alone did not reshape the China relationship. But his trade war shattered global norms, paving the way for administration officials to pursue policies that just a few years earlier would have been unthinkable.

McConnell: Trump "provoked" Capitol mob

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said on Tuesday that the pro-Trump mob that stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 was "provoked by the president and other powerful people."

Why it matters: Trump was impeached by the House last week for "incitement of insurrection." McConnell has not said how he will vote in Trump's coming Senate impeachment trial, but sources told Axios' Mike Allen that the chances of him voting to convict are higher than 50%.